Nagi no Asukara: Episode 10 – “The Saltflake Snow Falls and Falls”

Nagi no Asukara is set in a world where long ago, human civilization lived on the ocean floor. However, there were humans who wanted to live above the surface and moved to land, and this created a separation between the humans. The series focuses on four middle school students who live in the ocean named Hikari, Manaka, Chisaki, and Kaname. Because their middle school shut down, they must attend a school on land. During the first episode, Manaka met Tsumugu, one of their new classmates. He’s from a family of fishermen and has an interest in the underwater village.

At the beginning of episode 10, Hikari, Manaka, and the audience learn what the calamity is. The saltflake snow and colder temperatures are signs that the humans will meet their demise probably within the next 50 to 100 years, and that it can’t be avoided because the Sea God is losing his power because he isn’t receiving as many prayers. Uroko-sama says the only way for them to avoid it is to go to sleep until the calamity passes. It’s explained that they believe that their Ena will allow them to hibernate. When Hikari raises concerns about the people on the surface, he’s told not to worry about them and that they’re not obligated to tell the people on the surface anything.

Later, Hikari is informed that there’s going to be a big feast and everyone in the sea village will be attending. It will be their last meal before they begin to fast; apparently, they think that if they fast, their Ena will thicken and it will be able to protect them and bring the sleep on.

Hikari, however, believes the people on the surface need to be told and that the Ofunehiki should happen. In his mind, performing the Ofunehiki will help to strengthen the Sea God and potentially keep the calamity from happening. Miuna becomes scared and worried about what’s going to happen, while some of the older kids believe that since they’ll probably be dead when the calamity happens that it’s not really something to worry about.

Manaka spends a bit of time in the episode feeling scared and confused about their forthcoming hibernation. She also finds herself feeling confused when it comes to Hikari, especially after she had pushed him away at the end of episode nine when he hugged her. And right at the end of the episode, Kaname does something unexpected, catching Chisaki off-guard.

For most of this episode, I could almost literally feel the uneasiness that the characters in the show were feeling; there was definitely a bit of an atmosphere of uncertainty I could feel as I watched this. The wheels in my head were also turning as I watched, because I found myself trying to figure out what would potentially have to happen in order for this series to last 26 episodes. If the main characters go to sleep, that would be the end of the story, right? But from what I heard in the preview for episode 11, it appears that one of the potential scenarios that I was able to come up with could end up being what actually happens.

At this point, I can speculate where the story could be headed, but I can’t say with any confidence that I can truly predict what will ultimately happen going forward. And I’ve got to say that I’ve appreciated how much Nagi no Asukara has evolved as a series at this point when you compare where we are now to some of the very early episodes of the series.

Something I appreciated about this episode was Tsumugu’s grandfather. He seems to have become the character that serves as the “voice of reason” in the series.

One thing I have to admit, though, is that the idea of having the whole village go into hibernation is a little on the creepy side. I especially found myself feeling that way as it was being said that they think the Ena will thicken if they fast and that this would allow them to hibernate. Apparently, the village is rushing to do this without being entirely sure that this will even work. No wonder Manaka is so scared about it. I would be, too!

But now I’m looking forward to watching episode 11 next week in order to find out what’s going to happen.

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